Having a baby is the most joyous time for anyone. For a new parent it can be also a daunting time as well if you have never handled a baby before. I remember the time I had my first child, I didn’t even know how to hold a baby! Remember your baby is like a blank slate so you can “write” what you like upon it. As crude as it sounds, this is the time you start setting routines for your baby, the fruits of which you will reap few years down the line. Below are a few Parenting Tips For Babies which I can offer from my experience which I feel are the most important:
Breast is Best
Breast milk is the best. If you are a new mother you will probably say “yeah right” or “I can’t cope” or “It will ruin my figure” . Let me point out to you some very beneficial things about mothers milk:
- No washing or sterlising bottles
- No buying expensive formulas, bottles or bottle sterlisers
- Breastfeeding helps reduce weight as it burns a lot of calories
- Makes it very easy for the Mother to bond with the baby
- Breast milk is all the baby needs until six months of age- no solids, no water required. Breast milk is free!
- Reduces chances of Ovarian cancer in women
- Breast milk contains everything a baby needs in terms of vitamins and protein which formula milk cannot provide
- You can use a Breast Pump for more flexibility
Massaging the Baby
Massaging the baby builds a bond with the mother. Put on some soothing music and massage the baby with baby oil. This will relax you as well. Try to massage the baby before or after a bath. Beware , babies will get very hungry after a massage . Babies are very slippery at bath and massage time so be careful.
Always Keep a Stock of Nappies
You should always have at least 10 nappies in stock at any point in time. Whenever you go to the supermarket always look out for offers. A baby will need about 8-10 nappy changes a day. In case your baby gets a sore bottom or a nappy rash keep some nappy rash cream. Another very handy tip is, if your baby has got nappy rash and the nappy rash cream doesn’t work (meaning if the cream doesn’t heal the rash) , put Vaseline Petroleum jelly on the rash. The petroleum jelly will not let the faeces or urine touch the rash. It acts as a barrier between the baby’s skin and the faeces or urine. Do frequent nappy changes especially when your baby has got a rash. Also, it is a good idea to give your baby “nappy free time” everyday(whether or not they have got a rash) . Nappy free time means do not put nappy on the baby for a little while everyday so that the baby’s skin can breathe. This reduces the chances of a nappy rash and if they have a nappy rash it will help heal it faster.
Give babies tummy time meaning gently put the baby on their tummies for about 3 to 5 minutes per session and then gradually increase the time with each session. This encourages movement and also prevents them having a flat head as a baby’s skull is very soft. After they are 3 months old, they will learn how to roll over. Please note :give babies tummy time only when they are awake. Babies always have to sleep on their backs!
Give the babies a lot of floor time. Put a baby blanket or a baby gym and let them kick away! This encourages a lot of movement. Also, put a few baby toys near them and watch them try to grab the toys! This will increase their determination to persevere and is beautiful to watch.
Weaning Your Baby at Six Months
Medical professionals always advise to start your baby on solids at around six months of age. Start your child on soft fruits like Avocado ,Banana or cooked fruit like apple or pear. Few things to be kept in mind when you start weaning:
- Always ask your GP or Health Visitor for advise you if you feel your child has any allergies.
- If you do give any nuts, make sure you thoroughly ground them. I didn’t give my kids any nuts until they were 2 years as nuts are very hard to swallow.
- You can give babies finger foods which are foods that are easy for them to pick up and feed themselves like banana or rice cakes and carrot sticks(baby snacks). Encourage them to feed themselves by leaving the finger food on the tray of the high chair. Let them explore the texture of the food .
- Its better to crush and soften food rather than putting them in a blender. This strengthens their jaws and muscles. Being a vegetarian, I would put small pieces of chapati(Indian Roti) in a vegetable – no blending, If you give a cooked fruit like apple or pear, make sure you take the skin off, cook it until it is soft and then mash it with a fork. This will save your money as well by not buying those blenders for weaning.
- One very important tip is this- as soon as you have established weaning for at least one or two meals – at around 8-9 months, give your baby whatever you eat. For example if you are eating daal and rice, give the baby same thing as well. I would give my children daal and starchy rice(extremely well cooked and soggy) . You have just got to make sure that there is no salt or sugar or spice in the baby’s food and this would be a good time to reduce your salt and sugar intake too. Around this time also try to build it up to 3 meals a day.
- Last and most important tip – for drink always give them water in a cup. Don’t give them any juices. Let them get into the habit of drinking water. Juices contain lot of sugar which is not good for them.
Don’t leave home without your changing bag. You will need the following in the changing bag:
- Changing mat(travel mat)
- Cotton wool
- Baby wipes
- Nappy rash cream
- Nappy sacks
- Fresh pair of clothes
Never Leave your Baby Alone on the Changing Table
Don’t do this even for a second because that’s how long it takes for the baby to roll over and fall off. Its better to leave the baby on the floor provided it is not near a staircase as the baby might fall off the staircase.
Don’t Forget to Look After Yourself
Parents and especially Mothers often forget to look after themselves and forget to take breaks. You can ask your friends or grandparents if they can look after the baby for couple of hours, go out and have a coffee or watch a movie ! Me time is very important! Make sure you are well rested too. Try to sleep when the baby sleeps.
Trust Your Instincts
If your instinct tells you your child is not well go to the Doctor. Don’t ignore or disregard your instinct.
A parent can understand their child the best. You would probably get a lot of unwanted advice from everybody around you. But follow an advice only if You feel it is suitable for your child/baby.
Please put your comments below if you would like to give your suggestion/opinions on my post.